We all know that India has horrible traffic problems that debilitate the growth potential of their economy. Sure, India grows through sheer enthusiasm, but they could grow a lot faster if good infrastructure were in place. Like most other countries, India does things the same old boring way without looking for innovative solutions. Roads, planes, trains, more roads, more airports, faster trains. The trains are so difficult to get a ticket on, that the affluent Indians insist on flying even if it is a 200KM flight! Boring. Let’s think outside the box here.
The spoke system
Have I spoken of the spoke system before? Imagine a newly planned metro divided into quadrants. Imagine 49 to be exact. That would be seven by seven. Each quadrant could be a mile or more in diameter and have a central area reserved as a local transportation hub for trains, shared taxis, buses, etc. There could be a high-speed train that goes to the center of the 49 squares at some accelerated speed. You could then transfer and visit any of the other 48 squares. This is a simple system to plan, but you have to understand that not all 49 squares would fill up with a sizeable population overnight. Businesses would need to start, and as the economy grew, more people would come. The city would fill in gradually. Would there be roads? Sure! But, the focus of this type of city is to have a very comfortable transit system that is so nice and fast, that you wouldn’t want to drive. India is filled with dirty buses, rude bus drivers, crowded train stations, and every conceivable reason why you would want to avoid public transportation like a disease. But, what if there were a planned city where public transport was hygienic to the point of sterility, considerate to the point where the British upper class even feel they can’t measure up, and fast to the point where your journey is over just after you got on. High speed trains can go over 300 KM per hour these days you know — and a city filled with affluent high tech Indians might be able to afford such luxuries too!
Variations on the spoke theme
Another variation on the spoke system would be to have fast trains that could connect individual quadrants directly to other selected quadrants. Perhaps there might be a quadrant famous for shopping that people might want direct transport to, or another that had many industrial buildings. Certain quadrants could be directly linked to neighboring quadrants and other areas that the type of people in the quadrant might want to visit more frequently.
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